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Norristown man killed at home by stray bullet while eating Thanksgiving dinner

Montgomery County police are searching for a 19-year-old gunman.

A file photo of a spent shell casing.
A file photo of a spent shell casing.Read moreSTEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

A stray bullet struck and killed a Norristown man as he ate Thanksgiving dinner at home with his family Thursday, police said. Montgomery County police are searching for a teenage gunman.

An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Kevon Clarke, 19, of the 200 block of East Basin Street in Norristown, for first-degree murder and other charges. Police say he fired a shot that went through the window of a house near the corner of Arch and Basin Streets around 9:30 p.m., striking 25-year-old Edilberto Miguel Palaez Moctezuma in the torso.

Palaez Moctezuma died about an hour later at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he had been airlifted.

“Mr. Palaez Moctezuma was murdered while eating Thanksgiving dinner inside his home, and to be clear, he and his family were not involved in the dispute between Clarke and others,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said in a statement. Family members told police the victim was sitting at the table eating dinner when a single shot came through the window and struck him.

The criminal complaint filed by detectives said the dispute that apparently led to the shooting began at another Thanksgiving Day dinner in a house on Haws Avenue. Police say that Clarke, his girlfriend, Jacqueline Brown, and two of their friends were asked to leave that party.

The host noticed that some bottles of alcohol were missing, and Brown’s cousin texted her about it, assuming her friends had taken it. Arrangements were made to return the alcohol outside of Clarke’s residence on Basin Street, turning it over to the cousin, whom police did not identify.

The cousin told police she double-parked her car outside the residence, saw Clarke exit the residence brandishing a gun, and quickly drove off. She heard multiple shots fired as she fled.

Clarke then called the cousin on her cell phone, shouting, “You trying to set me up, you could have got me [expletive] killed,” according to the criminal complaint. Clarke then allegedly threatened to “bang up your crib,” which the cousin took to mean shoot into her residence.

Detectives located seven .40-caliber projectiles around Basin and Arch Streets, as well as one live round. Investigators concluded that the shot that killed Moctezuma came from Clarke’s shooting location through an analysis of two different surveillance videos and the bullet hole in the window.

Police also recovered six spent 9mm bullet cartridges near the scene. Two other males are seen in the surveillance video running from the shooting and were not identified.

Authorities ask the public to call 911 if they have any information on his whereabouts. They can also call the Norristown Police Department at 610-270-0977 or the Montgomery County Detectives’ Tip Line at 610-278-3638